Oregon voters will be voting on a measure today that, if passed, would mark a radical new direction for drug laws in the United States.
Measure 110, the “Drug Decriminalization and Addiction Treatment Initiative”, would decriminalize the possession of the following:
- less than one gram of heroine or methamphetamine
- two grams of cocaine
- 12 grams of psilocybin mushrooms
- 40 doses of LSD, oxycodone or methadone
- one gram or five pills of MDMA
Currently, possession of these drugs in any amount is considered a Class A misdemeanor and carries with it a one-year prison sentence and a $6,250.00 fine.
If Measure 110 is passed, possession would be changed to a Class E violation, to be punished by no more than a $100 fine or the option to attend a free addiction recovery center.
The measure would establish new treatment centers funded by revenue from the taxes collected by the state on marijuana sales as well as the state prison savings.
If passed, Oregon would be the first state in the nation to decriminalize these drugs.
Proponents argue that this measure would allow for drug addicts to receive treatments and recover from their addiction, rather than be faced with heavy fines and prison time.
Opponents counter that legalizing these drugs will lead to a greater acceptance of drug use, which leads to more crime.
The measure is supported by the Democratic Party of Oregon, the Working Families Party of Oregon, as well as other progressive organizations like the ACLU, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, and Planned Parenthood Advocates for Oregon.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan donated $500,000 to the political action committee behind the measure, More Treatment for a Better Oregon.
The opposition is made up of Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians, the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, and the Oregon Council for Behavioral Health, among others.